PAGEANT - "Education is the future"

Distribution of goods in The Gambia

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At the end of 2004, Pageant sent its last general consignments by container. From 2005 on, we were no longer able to use space in containers sent by Friends of Gambian Schools (FROGS), as they no longer had the warehouse available to store goods and pack containers. Pageant has become more selective in the sort of things we send and we now organise our own transportation as required for substantial quantities of high value goods.

During the summer of 2004 we had sent various items out to The Gambia, including the nursery school play equipment so generously donated to Bakalarr [MAP] by Bramley Nursery School see Video clip. Many of the packages had been sent with the FROGS, as before, but they could not let us have as much container space as we needed, particularly for the nursery equipment. We therefore also sent a consignment of just over three cubic metres with Kamino Redcoat of Crawley, who send goods by container ship to The Gambia. and have a special Charity rate.

We were very fortunate in that both the FROGS containers and the Kamino Redcoat consignment arrived at similar times during our October 2004 visit. As before, the containers were brought to Bakau New Town Lower Basic School [MAP] for unloading and further distribution. Pageant also hired a small lorry to bring other packages from the docks.

It was a very hot day - 96F - and we were in the Muslim month of Ramadan, so the majority of the Gambians who were helping with the unloading were neither eating nor drinking (even water) between sunrise and sunset. This meant that some of the 'helpers' retired to seats in the shade for much of the day! However, the Pageant 'team' of Kemo, Wandifa, Lamin, Edrissa, Backy (our taxi driver) and two members of staff from Bakalarr worked with us all day and moved what seemed to be literally mountains of books, tables, chairs and other packages from the containers to designated areas in the school grounds.

Mr Gitteh, the Bakalarr headmaster, arrived part-way through the afternoon and we managed to get all the Bakalarr packages and furniture loaded up onto a lorry and sent off to the ferry by 6 pm.

An Automotive Engineering lecturer, Mr Malek Faal, came to collect the packages that had been sent to GTTI [MAP] (Gambia Technical Training Institute). The rest of the Pageant packages were packed up onto another lorry and were taken to Kemo's compound for sorting and subsequent distribution to the various schools, colleges, compounds and village communities to whom they had been assigned.

The photographs show some members of the Pageant 'team' in action - but they do not come anywhere near conveying how hot and dirty we all were by the end of the day!

pacakages are stacked in the school compound at Bakau New Town

Edrissa Wandifa and Kemo handling packages

Unloading at Bakau New Town
the growing pile of Pageant packages

Edrissa, Wandifa & Kemo help with the unloading

Edrissa and Wandifa continue to move packages

The Pageant unloading team pose at the back of the loaded up lorry

The unloading continues

The team with the Bakalarr lorry loaded up

Wandifa and Ian slumped in the shade during the handing over ceremony

Malcom Reeder making his address at the handing over ceremony

Ian and Wandifa recovering after the unloading

The handing over ceremony - Malcolm Reader,
 FROGS chairman, making his address

     

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